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Expert advice for CBS from Admissions Consultant blogs

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Expert advice for CBS from Admissions Consultant blogs  [#permalink]

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New post 31 Aug 2017, 17:02
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Top business schools continue progress toward gender parity of their student bodies. Despite this progress, many top schools are struggling to effectively address an academic performance gap between male and female students. While pipeline issues have long been suspected as a leading cause of this performance gap, new research from academics at Columbia Business School probes deeper into underlying factors contributing to the gender performance gap.

Through a series of empirical studies, including a survey of MBA students at a top business school and a review of archival performance data (e.g., grades, GMAT scores) from multiple cohorts of students, the researchers uncover two driving causes of the performance gap: the background of students and their behavior in MBA classrooms.

The new research brings hard evidence to an issue that has been widely debated in recent years largely on the basis of anecdotes and opinions. The new studies show—consistently for several recent student cohorts—that the gender performance gap in MBA students exists primarily in technically-oriented classes like accounting and finance, but not in socially-oriented classes like leadership and marketing.

“These findings shed new light on the scope and source of the gender performance gap at top business schools,” said Michael Morris, the Chavkin-Chang Professor of Leadership at Columbia Business School and an author of the study. “But more importantly, they offer business school leaders directions for policies to effectively redress the grade gap.”
Background – Interests and Aptitudes
One source of the performance gap in technical-oriented classes is students’ backgrounds. Interests were assessed from entering students’ admissions applications as well as their responses to career counseling inventories. Not unexpectedly, given that psychological studies find consistent gender differences in interests from childhood onward, results revealed that more female students fit the “poet” interest profile and more men the “quant” profile.

A similar difference appeared when looking at GMAT scores, which was more surprising to the researchers given that such aptitudes do not appreciably differ by gender in the general MBA population.

These initial findings establish what top MBA programs are up against. From the very first day of the programs, male and female students differ on average in their interests, aptitudes, and the prior experiences that go along with them. This, in turn, gives rise to a key gender norm contributing to the performance gap: an expectation that female students have prowess in some areas and men in other areas.
Behavior – Public Assertiveness or Private Effort
Beyond the performance differences elicited directly by student backgrounds, the research shows that another source of the gender gap is how female students behave in response to gender norms during the MBA program. According to the studies, female students show less public assertiveness, especially in technically-oriented classes, whether measured by their own report or by that of the peers. Female students who fared worse in technical classes tended to be those who hedged their assertiveness, as active learning (i.e., class discussions and study group meetings) is essential for mastering the material.

“In this context, assertiveness means asking questions of peers and professors that help elucidate class material – plain and simple,” says author Aaron Wallen, Executive Director of the Management Division at Columbia’s School of Professional Studies, and a former Lecturer at Columbia Business School.

“Our research shows that female students far too often hold back and hesitate to ask the kinds of questions that would help them better master technical concepts and procedures, perhaps because it is inconsistent with the established gender norms linking men with technical ability. This has a profound effect on their overall achievement in MBA classes.”

Fortunately, the studies show that female students do not internalize the gender norm, which would be reflected in their reduced academic effort. On the contrary, female students put in more private studying effort than male students, a result that held both in self-reports and the objective record of usage of the school’s tutoring services. The researchers conclude that this suggests that female students may recognize the costs of their reduced assertiveness and compensate somewhat by putting in extra effort in private.
Recommendations for Improvement
The authors offer recommendations for how leaders can institute policies that help close the achievement gap. They challenge some proposed fixes, suggesting that increasing the proportion of the class to 50% female will not solve the problem without prior measures to fix the pipeline of qualified female candidates. Some recommendations for increasing the supply of talented female applicants to top MBA programs include:
  • Sponsor programs that introduce technically-oriented female undergraduates to top MBA programs.
  • Conduct specific outreach to students in existing STEM programs who may not have considered an MBA degree.
  • Reduce required prior work experience so that students can enroll at a younger age.

The authors also suggest recommendations for how to address the problem of gender norms and assertiveness. As they note in the paper:

“Interventions for assertiveness often focus on women’s confidence or body language.  But this misses the point. ‘Lean in’ interventions that address the roots of the problem would work better than ‘lean on’ interventions that suppress its symptoms.”

They recommendations include training faculty and students in skills for eliciting and managing the participation of the people around them, a skill-set that is valuable in any work setting.
source: Columbia Business School
***

If you are looking for guidance on your MBA application, Stacy Blackman Consulting can help with hourly and comprehensive consulting services. Contact us to learn more. Visit the website for Stacy Blackman Reviews, and check out the company’s e-publications for more in depth school-by-school guidance.

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Re: Expert advice for CBS from Admissions Consultant blogs  [#permalink]

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New post 31 Aug 2017, 17:02
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Top business schools continue progress toward gender parity of their student bodies. Despite this progress, many top schools are struggling to effectively address an academic performance gap between male and female students. While pipeline issues have long been suspected as a leading cause of this performance gap, new research from academics at Columbia Business School probes deeper into underlying factors contributing to the gender performance gap.

Through a series of empirical studies, including a survey of MBA students at a top business school and a review of archival performance data (e.g., grades, GMAT scores) from multiple cohorts of students, the researchers uncover two driving causes of the performance gap: the background of students and their behavior in MBA classrooms.

The new research brings hard evidence to an issue that has been widely debated in recent years largely on the basis of anecdotes and opinions. The new studies show—consistently for several recent student cohorts—that the gender performance gap in MBA students exists primarily in technically-oriented classes like accounting and finance, but not in socially-oriented classes like leadership and marketing.

“These findings shed new light on the scope and source of the gender performance gap at top business schools,” said Michael Morris, the Chavkin-Chang Professor of Leadership at Columbia Business School and an author of the study. “But more importantly, they offer business school leaders directions for policies to effectively redress the grade gap.”
Background – Interests and Aptitudes
One source of the performance gap in technical-oriented classes is students’ backgrounds. Interests were assessed from entering students’ admissions applications as well as their responses to career counseling inventories. Not unexpectedly, given that psychological studies find consistent gender differences in interests from childhood onward, results revealed that more female students fit the “poet” interest profile and more men the “quant” profile.

A similar difference appeared when looking at GMAT scores, which was more surprising to the researchers given that such aptitudes do not appreciably differ by gender in the general MBA population.

These initial findings establish what top MBA programs are up against. From the very first day of the programs, male and female students differ on average in their interests, aptitudes, and the prior experiences that go along with them. This, in turn, gives rise to a key gender norm contributing to the performance gap: an expectation that female students have prowess in some areas and men in other areas.
Behavior – Public Assertiveness or Private Effort
Beyond the performance differences elicited directly by student backgrounds, the research shows that another source of the gender gap is how female students behave in response to gender norms during the MBA program. According to the studies, female students show less public assertiveness, especially in technically-oriented classes, whether measured by their own report or by that of the peers. Female students who fared worse in technical classes tended to be those who hedged their assertiveness, as active learning (i.e., class discussions and study group meetings) is essential for mastering the material.

“In this context, assertiveness means asking questions of peers and professors that help elucidate class material – plain and simple,” says author Aaron Wallen, Executive Director of the Management Division at Columbia’s School of Professional Studies, and a former Lecturer at Columbia Business School.

“Our research shows that female students far too often hold back and hesitate to ask the kinds of questions that would help them better master technical concepts and procedures, perhaps because it is inconsistent with the established gender norms linking men with technical ability. This has a profound effect on their overall achievement in MBA classes.”

Fortunately, the studies show that female students do not internalize the gender norm, which would be reflected in their reduced academic effort. On the contrary, female students put in more private studying effort than male students, a result that held both in self-reports and the objective record of usage of the school’s tutoring services. The researchers conclude that this suggests that female students may recognize the costs of their reduced assertiveness and compensate somewhat by putting in extra effort in private.
Recommendations for Improvement
The authors offer recommendations for how leaders can institute policies that help close the achievement gap. They challenge some proposed fixes, suggesting that increasing the proportion of the class to 50% female will not solve the problem without prior measures to fix the pipeline of qualified female candidates. Some recommendations for increasing the supply of talented female applicants to top MBA programs include:
  • Sponsor programs that introduce technically-oriented female undergraduates to top MBA programs.
  • Conduct specific outreach to students in existing STEM programs who may not have considered an MBA degree.
  • Reduce required prior work experience so that students can enroll at a younger age.

The authors also suggest recommendations for how to address the problem of gender norms and assertiveness. As they note in the paper:

“Interventions for assertiveness often focus on women’s confidence or body language.  But this misses the point. ‘Lean in’ interventions that address the roots of the problem would work better than ‘lean on’ interventions that suppress its symptoms.”

They recommendations include training faculty and students in skills for eliciting and managing the participation of the people around them, a skill-set that is valuable in any work setting.
source: Columbia Business School
***

If you are looking for guidance on your MBA application, Stacy Blackman Consulting can help with hourly and comprehensive consulting services. Contact us to learn more. Visit the website for Stacy Blackman Reviews, and check out the company’s e-publications for more in depth school-by-school guidance.

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New post 04 Dec 2017, 14:50
The 2017–2018 academic year is in full swing, and students in the Class of 2019 are—hopefully!—settling in nicely for their MBA studies. Around this time of the year, business schools release their latest class profiles to reveal their most recent incoming classes in more detail. Of course, no two classes are exactly alike. Some are smaller in size and enjoy a more intimate environment for their studies, while some are quite large and thus encompass an even greater diversity of students.

We at mbaMission examined the latest class profiles to find out which top-ranked schools welcomed the most sizable enrollments this year. More than 1,000 students enrolled at Columbia Business School in two cohorts, putting its Class of 2019 at 1,019 individuals. Harvard Business School and the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania were not far behind with 928 and 863 students, respectively. After the top three, class sizes were notably smaller—the University of Chicago Booth School of Business, the fourth-largest program this year, welcomed 582 students, and the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University’s class consisted of 478 individuals. If smaller programs are more your thing, stay tuned for a closer look at the other end of the spectrum…

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Re: Expert advice for CBS from Admissions Consultant blogs  [#permalink]

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New post 04 Dec 2017, 15:12
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It looks like you used Columbia's admitted number (1,019) and not it's enrollment number (753). This would actually make CBS the third largest program behind HBS and Wharton.

BlogBot wrote:
The 2017–2018 academic year is in full swing, and students in the Class of 2019 are—hopefully!—settling in nicely for their MBA studies. Around this time of the year, business schools release their latest class profiles to reveal their most recent incoming classes in more detail. Of course, no two classes are exactly alike. Some are smaller in size and enjoy a more intimate environment for their studies, while some are quite large and thus encompass an even greater diversity of students.

We at mbaMission examined the latest class profiles to find out which top-ranked schools welcomed the most sizable enrollments this year. More than 1,000 students enrolled at Columbia Business School in two cohorts, putting its Class of 2019 at 1,019 individuals. Harvard Business School and the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania were not far behind with 928 and 863 students, respectively. After the top three, class sizes were notably smaller—the University of Chicago Booth School of Business, the fourth-largest program this year, welcomed 582 students, and the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University’s class consisted of 478 individuals. If smaller programs are more your thing, stay tuned for a closer look at the other end of the spectrum…

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Re: Expert advice for CBS from Admissions Consultant blogs  [#permalink]

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New post 30 Dec 2017, 11:12
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Columbia Business School and Columbia Engineering have announced a new full-time Master of Science in Business Analytics degree, with a three-semester curriculum designed for those who want to focus on learning the modeling techniques and data science tools that help businesses use data to make better decisions.

A key element of the new degree program is a capstone project that provides an intense consulting engagement with clients and their real-world business problems using relevant data sets over the entire course of the three-semester study.

“The role of analytics has grown increasingly critical for most sectors of the economy,” says Mary C. Boyce, Dean of Columbia Engineering. “Our partnership with Columbia Business School combines our strength in data science, optimization, stochastic modeling, and analytics with their strength in data-driven decision-making for business and marketing to create a rigorous new Master’s degree program.“

Jointly developed by faculty at both Columbia Engineering and Columbia Business School, the M.S. in Business Analytics equips graduates for careers as analysts and associates in consulting firms, and business analysts and data scientists in the fields of financial and professional services, technology, advertising and media, and other professions where a deep understanding and practical application of data analytics are required.

“By tapping into the vibrant and diverse business ecosystem that can only be found in New York, Columbia Business School and Columbia Engineering are uniquely situated to offer this new Master’s degree,” says Glenn Hubbard, Dean of Columbia Business School.  “We see this as a must-do program for any future business person who wants to have a leg up in using data to make informed business decisions.”

Another key element of the M.S. in Business Analytics is access to career placement services. As a first step, students complete a required Professional Development and Leadership course and have access to dedicated career services.

“The M.S. in Business Analytics combines classroom instruction by distinguished Columbia professors with the experience of working on real-world problems via the capstone project course,” says Garud Iyengar, Professor and Chair of the Department of Industrial Engineering and Operations Research in Columbia Engineering.

“We expect this program to have 100 percent placement of its graduates as do our very successful M.S. in Management Science and Engineering and M.S. in Financial Engineering programs,” Iyengar adds.

Applications are now being accepted for the first cohort, which will start in September 2018. Students have the option of taking a summer semester and completing the Master’s degree in one year, or can choose to take three non-contiguous semesters (fall, spring, fall).

For more information about the M.S. in Business Analytics, please visit: (http://ieor.columbia.edu/ba).
***

If you are looking for guidance on your MBA application, Stacy Blackman Consulting can help with hourly and comprehensive consulting services. Contact us to learn more. Visit the website for Stacy Blackman Reviews, and check out the company’s e-publications for more in depth school-by-school guidance.
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New post 19 Mar 2018, 13:59
An MBA degree is a desired commodity all around the world. Although top-notch business schools exist on nearly all continents, many applicants set their sights on U.S.-based programs. As a result, the incoming classes at top-ranked business schools in the United States typically consist of at least 30% international students. The Class of 2019, the latest incoming class, is no exception. We examined the profiles of incoming classes at top U.S. business schools more closely to find out which ones feature a notable percentage of internationals.

The Yale School of Management’s prestige undoubtedly helped the school attract the highest percentage of international students among the schools we examined; 45% of the Class of 2019 at Yale hail from outside the United States. At Columbia Business School, 43% of incoming students are classified as international, while the figure is 41% at the Stanford Graduate School of Business.Image
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New post 05 Apr 2018, 12:09
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Are you thinking of applying to business school this year? Perhaps you are just starting to prepare for the GMAT or GRE exam, or maybe you have not yet begun to assess your overall fit at the top business school programs. How will you differentiate yourself from so many other applicants? Where will you start?

We know you have questions as you prepare to begin the application process.

The leaders in the MBA admissions space—mbaMission and Manhattan Prep—are coming together to make sure you will be ready for the 2018–2019 MBA admissions season. Join us for a free, six-part online event series that will answer all of your MBA admissions questions—from taking the GMAT (or GRE) to assessing your MBA profile and eventually applying (and being accepted) to the school of your dreams!

During the live online series, Senior Consultants from mbaMission will address and explain different significant admissions issues, while experts from Manhattan Prep will help you tackle some of the toughest challenges GMAT and GRE test takers face, offering valuable insight and advice.

These live online events will be held twice a week from 8:00 to 9:30 p.m. EDT.

Please sign up for each session separately* via the links below. Space is limited.
  • Step 1—Tuesday, April 17, 2018: Should I Take the GMAT or the GRE?Applying to business school is a process rife with decisions, and a common one giving candidates some serious pause these days is which exam to take—the GMAT or the GRE? As the number of programs accepting the GRE continues to grow, aspiring MBAs are becoming more and more confused about this element of the application process. During this live session, learn how the two tests differ, which test specific MBA programs accept, how the content and scores relate, and other useful details—and move a little closer to crossing another important decision off your to-do list!
  • Step 2—Thursday, April 19, 2018: Which MBA Program Is Right for Me?During this event, mbaMission will elaborate on areas that will profoundly affect both your academic life and your social life in business school, including flexibility of a program’s curriculum, breadth of core courses, different methods of instruction, and varying sizes of the cohorts. Start preparing now so you can be sure to make an educated decision when you apply!
  • Step 3—Tuesday, April 24, 2018: What Factors Will Help Get Me into a Top MBA Program?In this session, learn to assess the quantitative and qualitative factors you bring to the table to better anticipate how you might be viewed by the admissions committee at the school of your dreams…and what you can do to improve that assessment!
  • Step 4—Thursday, April 26, 2018: How Do I Get a Top Score on the GMAT or the GRE? What is a “Harvard”-level score on the GMAT or the GRE? What level of difficulty should you be prepared to face to attain that score? Join our expert GMAT and GRE instructors to see the toughest content on both exams. Plus, learn strategies for overcoming it and achieving your goal score.
  • Step 5—Tuesday, May 1, 2018: How Do I Write a Standout MBA Essay?How can you write essays that grab the attention of MBA admissions committees? In this session, mbaMission will use this simple but often perplexing question as the starting point to a workshop for prospective business school applicants. Attendees will walk through a series of exercises that challenge them to uncover their personal and nuanced stories, craft compelling opening statements, develop meaningful goal statements, connect their goals to their target school’s resources, and more.
  • Step 6—Wednesday May 2, 2018: Top MBA Admissions Directors Answer Your Questions!During the final installment of our six-part series, mbaMission’s founder/president, Jeremy Shinewald, will facilitate a Q&A session with admissions directors at three of the top-5 business schools in the United States. Jeremy will take and share questions from attendees, while Bruce DelMonico (assistant dean and director of admissions at Yale SOM), Amanda Carlson (assistant dean of admissions at CBS), and Dawna Levenson (director of admissions at MIT Sloan) offer invaluable insight and advice.

We hope you will join us for these valuable events. Enroll for free today!
* Event recordings will be sent to all registrants within one week of the registered event’s completion.
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New post 30 Apr 2018, 10:59
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Columbia Business School has announced the following MBA application deadlines for the 2018-2019 admissions season.
AUGUST ENTRY
Early Decision Deadline: October 3, 2018
Merit Based Fellowship Deadline: January 4, 2019
Final Decision Deadline: April 10, 2019
J-TERM 2019
Application Deadline: October 3, 2018

***

Students may enroll in either August or January. The CBS admissions website notes that the paths are identical in terms of competitiveness of admissions, academic rigor, and student resources, but they differ in terms of timing and the opportunity to complete a summer internship.

The August entry has two review periods — early decision and regular decision. Because CBS uses a rolling admissions process, it is always to your advantage to apply well before the deadline.

All applications are due at 11:59 p.m. EST on the day of the deadline.

For additional information, please visit the Columbia’s MBA admissions website.
***

If you are looking for guidance on your CBS MBA application, Stacy Blackman Consulting can help with hourly and comprehensive consulting services. Contact us to learn more. Visit the website for Stacy Blackman Reviews, and check out the company’s e-publications for more in depth school-by-school guidance.
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New post 21 May 2018, 13:51
As the 2018–2019 admissions season quickly approaches, many MBA hopefuls have burning questions that they wish they could ask the admissions officers of top-ranked business schools. mbaMission is here to help!

Our founder and president, Jeremy Shinewald, recently hosted an online Q&A session with admissions officers from Columbia Business School, the Yale School of Management (SOM), the University of Chicago Booth School of Business, and the MIT Sloan School of Management. Check out some of the highlights and most pressing questions below before delving into the video:
  • One question on many applicants’ minds is whether the percentage of international applications declined in the most recent admissions season, and by how much. According to the admissions officers, international applications are indeed on the decline, but perhaps not as dramatically as some might think.
  • Many exciting things are happening at each of the schools represented in the chat. For example, Chicago Booth welcomed a new dean recently, while Yale SOM has welcomed a plethora of new faculty members.
  • Stay tuned for Yale SOM essays and deadlines for the 2018–2019 admissions season. Those will be out within just a few weeks!
  • Applicants who choose to take the GRE in lieu of the GMAT can ease their minds—all admissions officers agreed that there is absolutely no preference for one over the other!
  • Other popular questions included the following: Should applicants shy away from applying in Round 3, and does applying in Round 3 put one at a disadvantage? How about at Columbia Business School, which accepts applications on a rolling basis?
  • Deferred admission programs are attracting more and more interest. Are the schools taking advantage of this? Columbia Business School and MIT Sloan say yes but stay mum on the details for now.

For the entire in-depth discussion on these topics and much more, click play!
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New post 31 May 2018, 14:13
ImageColumbia Business School has released the application and essay questions for applicants starting in 2019. What we have heard from the admissions committee at CBS is that authenticity is key, and they are looking for candidates who are a great fit for the program and have the academic background to handle the rigor.

Columbia is a fast-paced program in a fast-paced city. The kind of MBA student who is a good fit for Columbia and it’s setting in New York City will be those that plan to take full advantage of the unique opportunities offered by the setting.

It’s up to you to prepare your case for admission with thorough research into the school. Speak to current students, alumni and research the classes and faculty at the school to understand the full offering at Columbia.

Columbia is looking for students who have big plans for their lives, MBA or not. Before you get started with this set of essays it will be helpful to brainstorm your career objectives, strengths and weaknesses, and to think about your overall future dreams.

Columbia offers several flexible options for admission, from full time MBA programs starting in the Fall, to a January entry session and an excellent executive MBA program. Columbia also offers an early decision option for candidates that are committed to attend the school.

The Columbia admissions cycle is rolling, so the earlier you submit your application the earlier you will receive feedback. We recommend you try to submit your application as soon as possible, while maintaining high quality.

Stumped by the Columbia essays? Contact Stacy Blackman Consulting to learn how we can help.

Goal: What is your immediate post-MBA professional goal? (50 characters maximum)

Examples of possible responses:
“Work in business development for a media company.”
“Join a strategy consulting firm.”
“Launch a data-management start-up.”

This is a deceptively simple question that requires you to condense your career goals into one clear career vision statement. As part of the question Columbia provides a few examples, which are concise and to the point.

If your goal is to work at an investment bank after graduation you could always just say: “Work in finance.” To try to add a bit more detail, consider adding a little more color. Something like: “Work in real estate finance for a private equity firm” tells the admissions committee far more about your interests and goals than just “work in finance” and sets the tone for the first essay.

Essay #1: Through your resume and recommendations, we have a clear sense of your professional path to date. What are your career goals over the next 3-5 years and what, in your imagination, would be your long-term dream job? (500 words)

This a question that drives at your short- and long-term goals and plans. The word “imagination” conjures up your aspirational dreams, not just your practical plans. Those who seek a top tier MBA at a school like Columbia have big dreams. You will be exposed to people and opportunities that will expand your horizons. Think about your true passions, and feel free to explore your big dreams.

As you talk about your future you may need to refer to your past career and personal experiences. As you consider what to say make sure you are citing only relevant examples from your career. Think about the experiences you can describe that were truly pivotal and can support your future goals. Your goals should have some logical progression from your past, but you can (and should!) show you plan to change and adapt.

For example, perhaps you want to be a general manager of a company or division, and right now you have been working primarily in marketing. You might spend your time at Columbia learning about finance and strategy, being part of consulting projects and interning at a start-up to round out your experience and start on your general management path.

Most importantly, Columbia wants to know who you are and how you are different from other applicants. Don’t try to be an ideal applicant, instead reveal your real personality, motivations, goals, and plans.

Essay #2: How will you take advantage of being “at the very center of business”? Please watch this short video featuring Dean Glenn Hubbard (250 words)

A theme of the linked video is that Columbia bridges theory and practice. Because of the location in New York City, Columbia is at the center of many industries including finance, media, fashion and technology.

Columbia specifically takes advantage of the location by employing adjunct professors from industry, encouraging internships during the school year for MBA students, and frequent lectures and mentoring from executives in various businesses.

The question posed here is how will you, specifically, use these resources that are unique to Columbia? Will you take classes from an industry expert you admire? Intern at a target company or within an industry that interests you? What other resources in New York City or within Columbia are particularly interesting to you?

A mix of personal and professional interests may be covered in this topic, and you may want to emphasize either one of those angles depending on the answers you present to the other core questions. Specifics, specifics and specifics help you set yourself apart with this essay.

Know yourself and know the school. As you address this question make sure your answer is tailored to your individual goals for learning and career along with your knowledge of Columbia’s academic and professional opportunities.

Essay #3: Please provide an example of a team failure of which you have been a part. If given a second chance, what would you do differently? (250 words)

The answer to this question can reveal quite a bit about how you work within a team, handle adversity, and turn around a bad situation. These type of behavioral essays work best with plenty of detail.

A structure like the STAR method is a good way to tackle any behavioral question. Make sure to set up the Situation, outline the Task you need to tackle, then describe the Action you took, and finally the Result of that action. Consider any team dynamics you want to describe and make sure to outline your own behavior.

Note that this a failure question, so your result may have been a bad one, and that’s perfectly acceptable for this essay. This question also provides a second chance for you. If the result of your story was not ideal, what would you change in retrospect? Did you learn anything that you have since applied?

Even if the failure was in the process and the result was positive, reflect upon how the team could have worked more productively along the way. Demonstrating the ability to reflect, refine your approach, and improve is a key signal of maturity.

Optional Essay: Is there any further information that you wish to provide the Admissions Committee? If so, please use this space to provide an explanation of any areas of concern in your academic record or your personal history. This does not need to be a formal essay. You may submit bullet points. (500 words)

We recommend keeping this essay brief and only focusing on specific areas such as a low demonstrated quantitative abilities, lack of a recommendation from a current supervisor, gaps in work experience, or particularly low grades. It is best to explain the issue factually and succinctly, then explain how you have addressed the issue and why it should not concern the admissions committee in terms of your aptitude for the program and studies.
***

If you are looking for guidance on your MBA application, Stacy Blackman Consulting can help with hourly and comprehensive consulting services. Contact us to learn more. Visit the website for Stacy Blackman Reviews, and check out the company’s e-publications for more in depth school-by-school guidance.
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New post 31 May 2018, 14:14
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Columbia Business School has released its MBA application today for the 2018-2019 admissions cycle. Here are the revised essay prompts you’ll see this season.
ESSAYS
Goal: What is your immediate post-MBA professional goal? (50 characters)

Essay #1: Through your resume and recommendations, we have a clear sense of your professional path to date. What are your career goals over the next 3-5 years and what, in your imagination, would be your long term dream job? (500 words)

Essay #2: How will you take advantage of being “at the very center of business”? Please watch this short video featuring Dean Glenn Hubbard (250 Words)

Essay #3: Please provide an example of a team failure of which you have been a part.  If given a second chance, what would you do differently? (250 Words)

Optional Essay: Is there any further information that you wish to provide the Admissions Committee?  If so, use this space to provide an explanation of any areas of concern in your academic record or your personal history.  This does not need to be a formal  essay.  You may submit bullet points. (Maximum 500 Words)

The MBA application to Columbia Business School is now live. Please visit the CBS admissions website for more information.

 
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If you are looking for guidance on your MBA application, Stacy Blackman Consulting can help with hourly and comprehensive consulting services. Contact us to learn more. Visit the website for Stacy Blackman Reviews, and check out the company’s e-publications for more in depth school-by-school guidance.

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New post 05 Jun 2018, 12:06
Columbia Business School (CBS) has just released its essay questions for this year, and the Admissions Office is offering applicants “a little bit old and a little bit new.” Its micro essay (really just a goal statement, to be fair) and first essay remain unchanged, while its second essay is a repackaging of a prompt from two years ago, and its third is brand new. In the past, for its third essay, CBS applicants could choose from two prompt options, generally pertaining to their personal lives and passions; now, candidates must respond to a question about a team failure instead. In short, this year, applicants have less choice with their essays (though the word counts have not changed), and the topics involved skew slightly in favor of the professional and academic and away from the personal. Let us jump into our analysis…

Goal: What is your immediate post-MBA professional goal? (50 characters)

Twitter’s recently expanded character count from 140 to 280 looks positively luxurious next to CBS’s miserly 50 for this goal statement—and that includes spaces! To get a sense of how brief your opportunity really is, note that the school’s prompt is itself exactly 50 characters. With such limited space, this can hardly be considered a true essay, but you will need to approach this with the same level of thought and focus as any of your other written responses for the school. During mbaMission’s recent Q&A with several admissions officers, CBS Assistant Dean of Admissions Amanda Carlson told our audience,

That 50 characters really helps people to just break it down very simply for themselves and simply for us . . . . Pursuing business education, it’s a huge investment in time, in money, in effort, in energy, and I think this 50-character exercise is as much for the candidate as it is for our team, and we want to know that people are serious, they’re focused, and they’re ready for this kind of adventure.

So, this prompt is a no-nonsense request for information that is all about getting to the point and telling the admissions committee what it needs to know—that you have a clear and achievable goal. In the past, the school has provided a few sample responses, including “Work in business development for a media company” and “Join a strategy consulting firm,” illustrating that conveying the requested information in such a tight space is definitely doable and that you do not need to worry too much about grammatical issues (in other words, you do not need to start your statement with “I want to” or something similar). We like to offer the statement “Reveal true goals, not what you think CBS wants” as both our own example of keeping things concise and our advice on how to approach and fulfill this request.

Think about what you truly want to do with your career in the short term and state this aspiration directly. Keep in mind that the rest of your application will need to provide evidence that your stated goal aligns with your existing skills and profound interests, especially once they have been augmented by an MBA education. This will show that your professed goal is achievable and lend credibility to your statement. If you can do this in 50 characters (not words!), you will have done what you need to answer the school’s question quite well.

Essay #1: Through your resume and recommendations, we have a clear sense of your professional path to date. What are your career goals over the next 3-5 years and what, in your imagination, would be your long term dream job? (500 words)

CBS starts this essay question by more or less telling you not to recap your career to date, so we strongly recommend that you do so (and briefly, at that) only if context is absolutely needed for your stated goals to be understood and/or believable—perhaps if you are making a fairly remarkable career change. Pay particular attention to the phrases “dream job” and “in your imagination” with respect to the long-term portion of the question. The school is prompting you to be creative and perhaps even to challenge or push yourself to think big. CBS wants individuals who do not just follow prescribed paths according to someone else’s blueprint but who are aspirational and more inclined to forge their own way. This is not to suggest that if you have a more traditional plan in mind that you are in trouble or at risk of losing the admissions committee’s attention, but you may need to take a little extra time to consider your ambitions from the perspective of “what if?” and delve more deeply into what you hope to achieve to find the more personal and inspiring elements of your goals. Showing creativity and individualism here can only be helpful.

Although this is not a request for a textbook personal statement essay, your response will certainly involve some elements of the topics covered in such a submission, such as short- and long-term goals. The mbaMission Personal Statement Guide offers advice on brainstorming and crafting such essays along with multiple illustrative examples and so may be helpful in preparing your CBS response to this prompt. You can download your free copy here.

CBS does not explicitly ask how its MBA program will factor into the achievement of your goals, but if you feel that particular resources the school offers could or will be uniquely influential and advantageous to you as you advance along your path, we believe you have sufficient room and leeway to mention these. However, generic claims or empty pandering have no place at all in this rather compact essay. Any CBS resources you reference must be specific to your needs, and the cause-and-effect relationship between these resources and your anticipated success must be very clear. For example, an applicant might discuss the appeal and instrumentality of CBS’s Value Investing Program and 5x5x5 Student Portfolio Fund in his or her aspirations to one day break into the asset management world or later launch a hedge fund. We do not recommend going so far as to dedicate an entire paragraph to discussing school resources, but you might consider thoughtfully embedding a relevant reference or two into your submission to acknowledge the program’s role in achieving your stated career intentions. Or should we say dreams?

Essay #2: How will you take advantage of being “at the very center of business”? Please watch this short video featuring Dean Glenn Hubbard (250 Words)

We start our recommendation for approaching this prompt with a perhaps unorthodox suggestion: write down why you want to be at the center of business before you watch Dean Hubbard’s video. Why? Because after seeing Dean Hubbard passionately extol the virtues of the CBS program and New York City, you may inadvertently parrot hisreasons right back at the school, rather identifying your own. This is not to say that you cannot have any overlap with the dean, but you should not feel obliged to echo his rationale or simply do so unconsciously. And if you legitimately do have similar themes, certainly make them your own by framing or presenting them in a different way.

For example, Dean Hubbard proudly notes, “Many of our students take the opportunity to intern during the school year”; if that opportunity is appealing to you, go beyond just mentioning that you would want to complete such an internship and actually identify a target firm, a role, skills you want to develop, and how this would all contribute to your experience as a CBS student. Whatever your reasons are for wanting to attend CBS, keep in mind that in an environment that prides itself on fusing “theory and practice,” the key is not to consider what the program itself offers but to focus on how your overall experience will be enhanced by the school’s proximity to practical opportunities.

To effectively answer this question, many applicants will need to conduct some significant research about CBS and the program’s relationship with New York City. You must create and present a plan of action, rather than simply cheerlead for the school or the city. Strive to create a narrative that explains where and how you will grow through the opportunities available there and benefit from the immersive experience.

Essay #3: Please provide an example of a team failure of which you have been a part.  If given a second chance, what would you do differently? (250 Words)

No excuses. No shifting blame. The key here is ownership. You must discuss a team failure—one in which you were responsible for all or part of a process that led to an undesirable outcome. If you present a scenario in which others were the determinants of the ultimate failure (and you, by contrast, were perfect!), the admissions committee will deduce that you are not a reflective (or worse, honest) person and that you will therefore be unable to improve your approach to problem solving as a student in the CBS program. Clearly, the admissions committee would not want to select such a person for a position in the next incoming class. We are not saying that you need to have been the sole cause of a catastrophe for the admissions committee to accept your story, but you do need to show that you recognize how you could have better affected the team’s outcome. Maybe you failed to speak up at a crucial moment or to monitor another’s poor decisions, for example. You would not have been the direct or singular cause in such a case, but you would have still played a significant role and could have learned from the experience.

Although you have only 250 words for this essay, you must still present a complete narrative that shows momentum toward a positive outcome, presents the inflection point at which the situation turned, and explains how the original plan ultimately failed, all the while revealing your particular role in the failure. A mistake that many candidates make is discussing a failure and then revealing their involvement at the end of the essay, unrelated to the context of the story. Your takeaway from the experience—essentially what you would do differently if given a second chance—needs to be clearly supported by the depiction of the problems in your story. In discussing how you would have changed or improved the outcome, you are effectively explaining how you would have changed or improved the process, of course. And to achieve this, you cannot simply include a few basic statements like “I would create greater transparency in this process if given another chance” but must show that you have seriously reflected on the experience and would now have a better plan, both tactically and personally, for achieving success.

Optional Essay:  Is there any further information that you wish to provide the Admissions Committee?  If so, use this space to provide an explanation of any areas of concern in your academic record or your personal history.  This does not need to be a formal essay. You may submit bullet points. (Maximum 500 Words)

This optional essay question starts out sounding like an open invitation to discuss almost anything you feel like sharing with the admissions committee, but the second line (which was not part of the prompt last season) dials things in and puts the spotlight on addressing problem areas specifically. The additional directive about bullet points seems to be a not-too-veiled implication that the school wants you to focus on imparting key information rather than offering a detailed and long-winded explanation of the issue in question. Without a doubt, this is not an opportunity to share another cool story or otherwise try to impress or pander to the admissions committee. If you do not truly need to explain an issue or potentially confusing element of your candidacy (a poor grade or overall GPA, a low GMAT score, a gap in your work experience, etc.), we do not recommend that you submit an option essay; if you do have issues to clarify, keep things concise. In our mbaMission Optional Essays Guide, we offer detailed advice on when and how to take advantage of the optional essay, with multiple examples, to help you mitigate any problem areas in your profile.

Columbia Business School receives more than 5,000 applications each year. How will you ensure that your essays will grab the attention of an overworked CBS admissions officer? Join us on Tuesday, June 12, 2018, for Writing Standout Columbia Business School Essays, a free webinar during which an mbaMission senior consultant will help you conceptualize your essay ideas and understand how to execute them, so that your experiences truly stand out!

For a thorough exploration of Columbia’s academic offerings, defining characteristics, crucial statistics, social life, community/environment, and other key facets of the program, please download your free copy of the mbaMission Insider’s Guide to Columbia Business School.

The Next Step—Mastering Your CBS Interview: Many MBA candidates find admissions interviews stressful and intimidating, but mastering this important element of the application process is definitely possible—the key is informed preparation. And, on your way to this high level of preparation, we offer our free Interview Primers to spur you along! Download your free copy of the Columbia Business School Interview Primer today.
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New post 15 Aug 2018, 01:16
Starting this application season, the TOEFL is no longer required from international applicants (who attended a non-English-speaking undergraduate university) applying for Columbia Business School MBA program.

CBS is following other schools that do not need a TOEFL, such as MIT, Duke and Yale.

For more info on top MBA programs that don’t require the TOEFL, please visit: https://aringo.com/mba-programs-that-dont-require-toefl/
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New post 31 Aug 2018, 12:56
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Are you contemplating both NYU’s Stern School of Business and Columbia Business School for your MBA degree in the commercial dynamo that is New York City? I recently shared my thoughts on this tough decision in an article published by Find MBA.

NYC’s urban business setting is definitely an advantage for many career paths, including finance. At both Columbia and NYU, accessibility to recruiters and world-class industry experts and professors is unparalleled.
Why Columbia Business School Rocks
While Columbia’s academics are certainly on par with other top tier schools, its status as the only Ivy League business school based in Manhattan draws the most accolades from graduates. As the school claims, New York’s flourishing financial community — which includes Wall Street and thousands of multi-national corporations — is a “living laboratory” for students interested in discovering the business world up close through internships and frequent visits from top CEOs.

While Columbia’s academic strength is its Finance department, graduates from the program tend to have well-rounded interests, international connections, and a solid network of alumni willing to help them explore all their options.

Says one graduate: “Columbia Business School uniquely combines competition with cooperation — many times my fellow students sent me copies of their class notes before exams, and we studied together with ease. However, we all fought to make our best possible effort and to land the best job interviews possible.”
Why NYU Stern is Awesome
NYU boasts a diverse program, with full-time and part-time offerings for working professionals as well as a PhD program and even an undergraduate major. Students have the opportunity to learn from experts, studying with professors who are regularly quoted in The Wall Street Journal.

Case studies become real world experiences when students can examine an issue and then visit that business some mere blocks away. NYU Stern is committed to providing a top tier business education in the heart of the most diverse, vibrant business center of North America and its central location allows both full-time and part-time students to draw heavily from the city’s resources.

NYU typically shows more flexibility in admitting candidates. The school is more willing than Columbia to accept a candidate whose employer is not well-known or whose GMAT score is not high. One potential upside of this relative flexibility by NYU is that the program tends to attract a down-to-earth, humble student class.

“Any sign of competitiveness or arrogance was a turn off,” says a former NYU admissions officer who works at SBC. “We also were sensitive to those ‘leaders’ that were pushy or always needing to lead.”

Read more about NYU Stern vs. Columbia Business School, including a career outcomes comparison, on Find MBA.
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If you are looking for guidance on your MBA application, Stacy Blackman Consulting can help with hourly and comprehensive consulting services. Contact us to learn more. Visit the website for Stacy Blackman Reviews, and check out the company’s e-publications for more in depth school-by-school guidance.
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New post 02 Oct 2018, 11:56
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Glenn Hubbard, successful steward of Columbia Business School for 15 years, will step down from his role as dean at the end of the 2018-19 academic year, University President Lee Bollinger has announced.

Hubbard will then resume his position as part of Columbia Business School’s faculty as the Russell L. Carson Professor of Finance and Economics, and as Professor of Economics in Columbia’s Department of Economics in the Faculty of Arts and Sciences.

Under his leadership, Hubbard has overseen the enhancement and expansion of nearly every aspect of Columbia Business School.  Throughout his tenure, he strengthened recruitment of both top academics and students. Additionally, Hubbard launched countless initiatives to bridge academic theory with the practice of business. Besides that, Hubbard led initiatives to revamp the school’s core curriculum. The outgoing dean also reignited engagement of the school’s 46,000 global alumni community.
A Fundraising Powerhouse
As a result of his prolific fundraising abilities, Hubbard will have added more than $1 billion to Columbia Business School’s coffers by the conclusion of his deanship next June. Ultimately this financial legacy will continue to enable the school to pursue countless innovations that will benefit the school and its global community.

In addition, a notable expansion of financial aid occurred during Hubbard’s deanship, increasing 600% from 2004 to 2018. Hubbard also raised more than $500 million to establish Columbia Business School’s future home on Columbia University’s  Manhattanville campus.

President Bollinger called Hubbard’s deanship a historic period for Columbia Business School, one that solidified its place “as one of the most celebrated and innovative schools of business in all of higher education.”
Hubbard’s Parting Message
“Today, as I reflect upon the last decade and a half, I am humbled by the progress made toward achieving our mission to innovate, connect, and lead, and our strategy to bridge theory and practice,” Hubbard said.

“Without question, our position in the University is a key factor of that success. As Columbia Business School prepares to embark on a new era, I have every confidence that the School will continue to be a global innovator in both management education and in how business is practiced in the 21st century. I look forward to supporting that vision as a member of its faculty.”

A global search for Hubbard’s replacement will begin immediately. For more details of Glenn Hubbard’s tenure as dean, please visit the Columbia Business School newsroom.

 

The post CBS Dean Glenn Hubbard to Step Down After 15-Year Tenure appeared first on Stacy Blackman Consulting - MBA Admissions Consulting.

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If you are looking for guidance on your MBA application, Stacy Blackman Consulting can help with hourly and comprehensive consulting services. Contact us to learn more. Visit the website for Stacy Blackman Reviews, and check out the company’s e-publications for more in depth school-by-school guidance.
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New post 09 Apr 2019, 11:05
Are you thinking of applying to business school this year? Perhaps you are just starting to prepare for the GMAT or GRE exam, or maybe you have not yet begun to assess your overall fit at the top business school programs. How will you differentiate yourself from so many other applicants? Where will you start?

We know you have questions as you prepare to begin the application process.

The leaders in the MBA admissions space—mbaMission and Manhattan Prep—are coming together to make sure you will be ready for the 2019–2020 MBA admissions season. Join us for a free, five-part online event series, “Maximize Your Potential: Five Steps to Getting Your Dream MBA,” that will answer all your MBA admissions questions—from taking the GMAT (or GRE) to assessing your MBA profile and eventually applying (and being accepted) to the school of your dreams!

During the live online series, Senior Consultants from mbaMission will address and explain different significant admissions issues, while experts from Manhattan Prep will help you tackle some of the toughest challenges GMAT and GRE test takers face, offering valuable insight and advice.

These live online events will be held once a week from 8:00 to 9:00 p.m. EDT.

Please sign up for each session separately via the links below. Space is limited.

  • Step 1—Wednesday, April 10, 2019:  Decisions, Decisions: How to Pick the Right B-School and the Test to Go With ItChoosing the Right B-School
    Attending business school is a huge investment—of time, emotion, energy, and money—and the experience will undoubtedly change your life, both professionally and personally. So you owe it to yourself to dedicate the necessary effort to determine which program(s) will best fulfill your specific needs. This presentation, led by mbaMission Senior Consultant Rachel Beck, is designed to help you fully evaluate the relevant elements of the different MBA programs to better ensure your final choice will provide the atmosphere, training, lifestyle, resources, and support that fit your particular personality, needs, and goals.

GMAT vs. GRE
With more and more top business schools accepting the GRE as well as the GMAT, a lot of applicants are wondering which test they should take. The tests are very different, so candidates have a lot to consider when comparing the GMAT and the GRE. Manhattan Prep instructor Whitney Garner will walk through the exams’ similarities and differences to help you decide which is better for you, and mbaMission Senior Consultant Rachel Beck will discuss how MBA admissions committees view the two exams and your scores.

  • Step 2—Wednesday, April 17, 2019: How to Maximize Results from Your MBA Profile and GMAT ScoreAssessing Your MBA Profile
    Every year, admissions officers must choose from thousands of strong candidates to fill a relatively small number of spots in their classes. How do they manage this process and effectively differentiate between applicants? Admissions officers evaluate each candidate using an array of factors, including academic abilities, leadership experience and potential, interpersonal skills, and personal fit with the program. In this session, learn to assess the quantitative and qualitative factors you bring to the table to better anticipate how you might be viewed by the admissions committee at the school of your dreams… and what you can do to improve that assessment!

    Maximizing ROI on the GMAT
    You know you want to get into a great business school, and you have a high GMAT goal score in mind—but what exactly do you have to do to get that score? Join Manhattan Prep instructor Whitney Garner as she helps you understand the big picture with regard to approaching the GMAT, covering key factors such as having the right mind-set, understanding the scoring system, and perfecting your timing. We will help you maximize your learning so you can maximize your score. 
  • Step 3—Wednesday, April 24, 2019:  Key Test-Taking Strategies for GMATAdvanced Quant
    Of the four GMAT subscores, your Quant percentile typically has the greatest weight with admissions committees. Are you ready to tackle the most difficult GMAT Quant problems? Join Manhattan Prep instructor Jamie Nelson for an overview of some of the most difficult Quant problems. We will review various strategies, as well as guessing techniques, to maximize your chances of succeeding with these tricky questions.

    Advanced Sentence Correction
    Do you have all the basics down but struggle with those really long underlines? Does seeing large chunks of the answer choices move around or change completely drive you crazy? Join us for a special session on how to handle the craziest of the crazy Sentence Correction problems. 
  • Step 4—Wednesday, May 1, 2019: Writing Standout MBA Application Essays
    How can you write essays that grab the attention of MBA admissions committees? In this session, mbaMission will use this simple but often perplexing question as the starting point in a workshop for prospective business school applicants. Attendees will walk through a series of exercises that challenge them to uncover their personal and nuanced stories, craft compelling opening statements, develop meaningful goal statements, connect their goals to their target school’s resources, and other key steps. 
  • Step 5—Wednesday May 8, 2019: Top MBA Admissions Directors Answer Your Questions!
    mbaMission’s Jeremy Shinewald will moderate and host this question-and-answer session featuring admissions officers from leading business schools. In addition to posing his own questions, Jeremy will take and share questions from attendees, facilitating a candid dialogue between interested MBA applicants and experienced admissions professionals. This is your chance to go directly to the source to get your admissions questions answered!
    Admissions officers on this panel include Bruce DelMonico, Yale School of Management
    Amanda Carlson, Columbia Business School
    *Additional admissions officers yet to be announced

Enroll today!
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New post 10 Apr 2019, 08:29
Pounce on an opportunity to target weaknesses and come back stronger than ever!

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Photo by Bruno Cervera on Unsplash

Rejections are always disheartening. They are especially discouraging when a great deal of time, money, and effort has been invested, like in the MBA application. Psychologists from the University of Michigan, Columbia, and the University of Colorado demonstrate that rejection can feel like physical pain. We are sympathetic to the pain you are experiencing from being turned down by your target business schools.

From an emotional standpoint, receiving an MBA rejection letter can lower self-esteem, cause feelings of sadness, and knock you off-course — after all, your near-term plans of attending university have been delayed. These emotions coupled with physical pain can bring about a feeling of hopelessness; acknowledge it and take the time you need to grieve, but do not let a rejection cripple you from progress.

Before you allow a rejection to discourage your academic pursuits, re-evaluate your profile and consider reapplying. We believe that when it comes to personal and professional growth, accepting a “no” is not an option. Like the wind that does not change direction when encountering an obstacle, you too should find your path to an admission “yes.”

If your reasons for pursuing an MBA still stand valid, then honestly assess your applications’ strength and weakness, and consider reapplying, whether immediately or in the near future.

Application

The first step in the process of an honest assessment of your profile is your application. After having had a short break from working on your application material, rereading with a fresh perspective and a critical lens is when you can most candidly assess all components of the application you submitted. It will provide an opportunity to design a strategy for next steps. You must look individually and holistically at your resume, recommendation letters, essays, short answers, academics, and the target school’s application itself.

Resume

When genuinely evaluating your resume, ask yourself: Does my resume adequately portray my role(s)? Have I written my resume jargon-free and for the MBA admissions team? Have I used a variety of verbs to describe my achievements? Do my key responsibilities outlined in my resume highlight my key achievements? Have I emphasized my community engagement over and above only listing organizations? Have I added character to my resume by including details about personal interests and accomplishments? Is my resume easy to read? If you answered “No” to any of these questions, then you want to ensure you address those details next time you apply.

Recommendation letters

An essential component of the admissions decision is not only the applicant’s view of themselves in how they present their experiences, but how supervisors view the applicant’s character and ability to lead; admissions committees place a high value on the strength of the recommendation letters. Whether you have access to your recommendation letter or not, you can evaluate your choice of a recommender. Is your chosen recommender the most equipped person to write your MBA letter of support? Do they have adequate experience supervising and have had ample time and opportunity to assess your strengths and areas for improvements? Have they addressed specific examples? Do they place enough attention to detail to answer the questions the institutions ask? A detailed and robust recommendation letter goes a long way in the admissions process; ensure you have selected the best recommender to support your candidacy.

Essays and short answer questions

When it comes to selecting leaders, top programs seek communicators who can influence change. Admissions teams look for not only depth in your understanding of your experiences and how others view your contributions, but also care about your extent of development, your ability to see areas for improvement in yourself or the environment in which you serve, and understanding of your values and your goals.

When you reread your essays, short answers, etc., can you identify key elements of character strengths in your profile? Were these elements adequately conveyed? Have those elements been consistently presented throughout all components of your application(s)? Has the language chosen accurately conveyed those vital elements of your character? Do your essays and short answers include examples of character and leadership? Your choice of narrative, ability to portray leadership experience and strength of character are instrumental to the success of your essays and short answers.

GPA and GMAT

While the essays and recommendation letters are a critical aspect of the application process, your academics are another essential step. Consider if your GPA speaks to your academic excellence. Is your GPA in line with the target school’s average? If not, have you addressed your GPA honestly in an addendum (optional essay)? Also, have you considered the possibility of enrolling in coursework between now and the next time you apply to B-schools so you may strengthen any weaknesses in GPA and showcase your ability to succeed in top programs?

How does your GMAT/GRE fair in comparison to the target school’s average score? Does your GMAT/GRE reflect your best score? If not, have you addressed it in the addendum? If you know your score does not reflect your abilities, retake the test before the next application submission.

Academics are an essential component of the admissions process. Admissions teams want to know you can succeed within the program. That said, your scores need not be perfect, but, in one way or another, they should demonstrate excellence.

Application

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Photo by CoWomen on Unsplash

While each component of the application should be used as an opportunity to add value to your overall profile, reread your entire application material (including the school’s literal application) and re-evaluate your message’s consistency. Are the details in your resume conveyed in the application? Are there any areas in your application that haven’t been adequately explained? It is advisable that you not expect admissions teams assume your story, so provide every opportunity for them to understand and want to say “yes.”

School Selection

After a sincere re-evaluation of your submitted material, re-examine the target schools selected. Take the time to evaluate if you need to revisit your list of schools and apply to new target schools, reapply, or a combination of the two. Revisiting material on school selection, like these tips, may prove helpful in putting together your amended target list.

Your rejection may alter your plans but don’t let it drive you to give up on your dreams of a top education. Remember that not everyone can be accepted regardless of how brilliant their application. Take the time to find programs that will give you the platforms and the support you need to grow professionally and personally and accept that the battle is never won by giving up.

This article first appeared on Thrive Global.
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New post 25 Apr 2019, 06:58
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When considering and selecting an MBA program, having clear professional goals is vital. For those considering a career in Finance, especially Private Equity (PE) or Wealth Management, a top MBA program may help you attain a job in the highly competitive sector and enhance your professional profile.

Not all MBA programs are created equal – even among the top 20 - so pay close attention to the opportunities and exposures they provide and select a program that will best help you on your path. To help you on the selection process, we have taken a closer look at five (5) top MBA programs - Wharton, NYU, Booth, Columbia, and UCLA Anderson.  

WHARTON -FNCE MBA

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Image Source: Wharton

To many, especially in the industry, Finance and Wharton are synonymous. Although Wharton has diversified its student body, Finance is among the top three concentrations of the degree program. The extensive list of coursework offered in the concentration is specifically structured to expose students to a wide range of areas within finance. While they provide courses like Investment Management, Corporate Finance, Real Estate Investment, Private Equity, Fixed Income Securities, International Banking, etc., they do not allow specialization within finance as they believe students benefit most from the breadth of material the program offers.  This structure will enable students to begin a career in finance, whether that be in the financial sector or the finance department.

Wharton boasts a 98.4% placement three (3) months post-graduation. Of those, about 37% accepted offers in Financial Services with Investment Banking/Brokerage and PE/Buyout being the top sectors.  Of the students that received job offers within the United States, New York has been a primary location, and internationally (11% received offers overseas) China is the top country to employ Wharton graduates. Financial service employers that hired Wharton MBA graduates include, Bank of America, BlackRock, Capital Group, Credit Suisse, Deutsche Bank, Evercore, GI Partners, Glenmede Trust, H.I.G. Capital, etc.. The median starting salary is $130,000US.

Wharton’s cluster system allows MBA candidates exposure to a diversity of interests, including opportunities to grow their network within finance. Professional clubs include the Blockchain Club, Investment Management Club, PE and Venture Capital (VC) Club, Wharton FinTech, Wharton Impact Investing Partners, Wharton MBA Finance Club, and Wharton Restructuring and Distressed Investing Club. This community puts together conferences, including Finance Conference, Restructuring and Distressed Investing Conferences, etc. where students have an opportunity to connect with alumni and leaders within the industry.  

While the study of the finance concentration is intentionally broad, the variety of outlets allow students the focus and exposure they need to succeed in a finance-driven position, even if their diploma is less specific.

Website: Academics

Application: Apply

Financing your degree: Financial Aid

NYU- STERN SCHOOL OF MANAGEMENT MBA WITH A FINANCE SPECIALIZATION

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Image Source: NYU Stern

NYU’s two-year, general MBA offers students the opportunity to select up to three (3) specializations from the 20+ options available. For example, you can earn an MBA with a specialization in Finance to learn how financial markets function, FinTech to gain a macro-level understanding how AI and machine learning can disrupt the sector, and Strategy to move the business forward.  The plethora of specialization offerings presents the opportunity to be as creative as you foresee the future and the industry will need you to be, which is in line with NYU’s reason d’être.

In addition to the MBA with a specialization in finance, Stern also offers a dual degree, MS in Mathematics in Finance/MBA. This 72-credit dual degree consists of courses divided between Stern and NYU’s Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences and takes 2.5 years to complete. The MS in Mathematics in Finance/MBA may be particularly appealing for those interested in quantitative risk and portfolio management, like those interested in working in Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs) or Hedge Funds, for example.

Stern’s MBA class of 2018 boasts a 95.4% student placement within three (3) months of graduation. The strength of their career services office is evidenced by the fact that 82% of offers received were school facilitated – either an offer accepted from internships sourced by Stern or on-campus interviews. About 34% of the class received offers in Financial Services, with significant focus in investment banking. Companies with a significant presence include Credit Suisse, J.P. Morgan Chase, and Citigroup.

NYU’s MBA candidates with finance specialization also have the opportunity to gain first-hand experience in portfolio management and analysis with funds like, Michael Price Student Investment Fund ($1.8M AUM),  NYU Impact Investment Fund (NIIF), and Rosenwald Global Value Fund, as well as being part of MBA Investment Impact Network & Training (MIIT).

In addition to learning first-hand how to manage funds, students have the opportunity to learn from industry veterans with the Investment Banking Immersion (IBI), which offers students insights from Citibank experts, participate in IPO pitch, case competitions, or have the opportunity to advise family offices on investing on social and environment impact causes. NYU’s MBA specialization offers students many opportunities to benefit from the school’s central financial hub and develop a profile that is in line with the student’s creative genius.  

Website: Academics

Application: Apply

Financing your degree: Financial Aid

UNIVERSITY OF CHICAGO – BOOTH SCHOOL OF BUSINESS

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Image Source: Chicago Booth

With 13+ concentrations, the two-year Booth MBA offers students the flexibility and opportunity to focus their area of study. Similar to Stern’s approach, students have the option to select up to three (3) concentrations and gain more in-depth knowledge in their field of interest. Finance concentrations include Accounting, Analytic Finance, Economics, Economics & Statistics, and Finance. The schools Financial Analytics concentration, for example, boasts about offering the “largest number of advanced finance classes of any business school” and students can gain practical and theoretical knowledge of financial analytics as they pertain to hedge funds, investment banking, risk management, etc. Booth offers a variety of activities exposing MBA students to the world of analytic finance, including Bank Week – where students have the opportunity to network with New York banks, attend information sessions and even sit in at trading desks, for those interested in sales and trading.  

Bank Week is organized by the Investment Banking Group – the largest student organization aiming to educate on all matters of a career in Investment Banking. The Hedge Fund Group and Investment Management Group organize speaker events with a focus on their respective concentrations. Additionally, The Financial Analytics concentration offers a one-day hands-on modeling seminar on Leveraged Buy Outs (LBO). The aim is to create an interactive model that represents three (3) constituents – seller, buyer, and lender – to gain in-depth knowledge of the modeling process. 

The business school’s Finance concentration covers both corporate finance and investments. Through an empirical lens and a culture of learning through “questioning and debate,“ students explore how “businesses raise the capital they need to start and sustain themselves, decide which projects make financial sense, and manage risks; how people invest in companies; and how financial markets work - how an economy allocates money to where it will have the most value.” The Finance concentrations share some community building and professional development initiatives, but not all. For example, in addition to the extracurricular activities available to the Financial Analytics concentration, the Finance concentration is exposed to the Corporate Finance Group, which serves students interested in finance jobs within an organization on their road to CFO. It is highly advisable to commence the program with a conviction about your area of interest within the financial sector, as it relates to the academic choices you must make early in the program.  

Booth also offers MBA labs that lead to hands-on experience. The Private Equity/Venture Capital Lab requires participants to enroll in a spring term course that is followed by an internship at a PE or VC firm. Students are expected to intern for 10-15 hours per week for at least ten (10) weeks. The Polsky Center has relationships with about 90 PE/VC firms enabling a variety of placements.

Additionally, Booth students have the opportunity to gain global experience via the school’s partnerships with various global universities in 20 countries. Students can spend anywhere from a few weeks to a full term in places like Australia, China, or Spain, learning about how business is taught and conducted there, with the aim to broaden perspectives.

About 35% of Booth’s 2018 MBA graduating class seeking employment have gone into Finance roles. The majority of the graduating class received offers in positions for investment banking, PE, and company finance. Major financial employers include J.P. Morgan, Goldman Sachs, and Morgan Stanley. 

While Booth provides students the flexibility to curate their MBA experiences, the program is focused on qualitative analysis and applies a pedagogical style that mixes theory and case studies to teach business methodologies.

Website: Academics

Application: Apply

Financing your degree: Financial Aid

COLUMBIA BUSINESS SCHOOL

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Image Source: Columbia University

With its 150 faculty and 100 adjuncts, Columbia Business Schools’ comprehensive core curriculum and its flexible electives allow MBA students to gain in-depth expertise in a particular business discipline. While concentrations are not noted in transcripts, students can opt to indicate fields of focus in their resumes, and the various divisions, programs, and centers allow them to do just that.

Columbia has four (4) divisions that can help MBA students build expertise in the Finance sphere without earning a dual degree. The divisions offer courses for career functions like corporate finance, financial consulting, PE & Emerging Markets, VC, and Value Investing through Heilbrunn Center for Graham & Dodd Investing.

Those students interested in Value Investing have an opportunity to apply for one of forty places in the Value Investing program each year. If accepted, students follow a rigorous curriculum and participate in the 5x5x5 Student portfolio, a student-run value investing fund managing real-time positions.

The PE division serves as the primary point of contact, connecting students with the PE industry. They host a variety of events that promote networking — the Deal Camp’s aim, for example, is to prepare students for job interviews in PE. The Alston & Bird Alumni Discussion Series deals with topics that range from capital raising, portfolio investing and exit.  The PE/VC Club organizes an annual PE &VC Conference that boasts an attendance of 700 guests, including senior practitioners, faculty, students, and alumni to discuss the emerging trends in the industry. The PE program also offers the opportunity for students to participate in the KKR Diversity, Inclusion, and Innovation Competition where students identify and pitch a company as a Leveraged Buyout candidate.

MBA candidates that want to pursue a career in finance have the opportunity to take part in a variety of programs. The program for Financial Studies boasts vital initiatives that include Climate Change and Finance, Financial Markets Regulation, and Future of Banking and Insurance; the Center for Excellence in Accounting and Security Analysis offers independent solutions to issues related to financial reporting and accounting policy; and, the Advanced Projects and Applied Research in Fintech focuses on impact research affecting the industry and society as a whole. The central theme for the 2017-2018 academic year was insurance and blockchain.

Of Columbia’s 2018 MBA graduates, about 27% secured positions with functions in financial services. The median base salary ranged between $125,000 and $160,000, depending on the sector of finance, excluding other guaranteed forms of compensation like sign-on bonus and non-guaranteed performance related bonus. 

Like Stern, Columbia’s central location is ideal for those interested in working in NYC, considered the global financial capital, as it provides a variety of opportunities and exposures for students to gain hand’s on experiences with local organizations. 

Website: Academics

Application: Apply

Financing your degree: Financial Aid

UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA – ANDERSON

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Image source: UCLA Anderson

UCLA Anderson’s MBA program structure frontloads the core curriculum classwork allowing students to quickly take charge of their academic experience with specialization by winter of their first year. Anderson offers students the opportunity to choose up to two (2) (out of fifteen (15)) specializations or select electives from multiple specialties to build a tailored elective path. The capstone project allows students to either “research and recommends strategic solutions for some of the top companies in the world,” or, through the Applied Research Management program, launch their own venture.

In 2018, about 23% of Anderson MBA graduates were hired for finance and accounting roles. Those hires crossed a variety of industries including investment banking, investment management, corporate finance, real estate finance, VC, and commercial banking. The median salary for Anderson MBAs is $125,000, and 62% of those students landed a signing bonus averaging $39, 000. Companies that have employed Anderson MBAs include Bank of America, Barclays, Credit Suisse, Citibank, UBS, Morgan Stanley, and Pimco.

Anderson offers three (3) specializations in finance: (i) Corporate Finance, (ii) Kayne Investment Management, and (iii) Accounting. These specializations are organized by The Laurence & Lori Fink Center for Finance and Investment, where MBA students have the opportunity to partner with alumni and financial institutions to gain hands-on experience and new insights about current issues the facing financial world.

The Fink Center for Finance and Investment organizes three significant events: (i) Fink Investing Conference where investment management leaders have an opportunity to connect and educate a wide range of financial industry participants; (ii) The Fink PE Roundtable where South California’s top PE shops lead “powerful discussions illustrating the path to the future of private equity;” and (iii) Fink Credit Pitch Competition where ten (10) MBA teams from across the country “pitch their best credit investment ideas to a panel of distinguished judges.” Anderson students have the opportunity to compete against students at Columbia Business School, Johnson, LBS, MIT Sloan, Tepper, Tuck, Booth, Darden, and Yale.

UCLA Anderson also is home to the Investment Finance Association (IFA) with more than 300 current members who serve as a bridge to “strengthen educational pursuits, facilitate networking opportunities and enhance recruiting efforts among UCLA Anderson students and financial services organizations.” They mainly focus on helping those pursuing careers in investment banking, investment management, corporate finance, and PE.  Events include Investment Banking Career Night, Corporate Finance Career Night, Women in Finance Brunch, Investment Management Roundtable, PE Roundtable, Financial Modeling Excel Workshop, Valuation Modeling Workshop, and Interview Prep Workshop.

Website: Academics

Application: Apply

Financing your degree: Financial Aid

These programs all have a significant influence in the financial sector.  While each of the schools offers a great deal of opportunity to those considering a career in finance, the flavor of each program differs. Do the legwork early and select the program that best fits your goals in order to leverage your skills and enhance your career.  It will allow you to make the most out of your experience and make a profound impact post-graduation. 

This article first appeared onSia Degree Insights Blog.
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Re: Expert advice for CBS from Admissions Consultant blogs  [#permalink]

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Are you applying to Columbia Business School (CBS), Kellogg School of Management, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Sloan School of Management, or Yale School of Management (SOM)? If so, you will not want to miss this chance to learn from the schools’ very own admissions officers! On Wednesday, May 8, 2019, mbaMission’s founder/president, Jeremy Shinewald, will facilitate a one-hour webinar for the final installment of our five-part series: “Maximize Your Potential: 5 Steps to Getting Your Dream MBA.” From 8:00 to 9:00 p.m. EDT, Jeremy will take and share questions from attendees, while admissions officers from these top business school institutions offer invaluable insight and advice.

Admissions officers for this panel include:

  • Bruce DelMonico, Assistant Dean of Admissions at Yale School of Management
  • Amanda Carlson, Assistant Dean of Admissions at Columbia Business School
  • Dawna Levenson, Assistant Dean of Admissions at MIT Sloan School of Management
  • Kate Smith, Assistant Dean of Admissions and Financial Aid at Kellogg School of Management

We hope you will join us for this special series. Please reserve your spot by signing up here.
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Re: Expert advice for CBS from Admissions Consultant blogs  [#permalink]

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New post 03 Jun 2019, 16:21
One of the first top programs to release its essay questions for this season, Columbia Business School (CBS) is again hitting candidates with a mix of old and new prompts. Its goal statement from 2018 has been relabeled as a short-answer question but has changed in no other way, while its first essay prompt—also about applicants’ career aspirations—has likewise remained the same. The school’s second essay question has been tweaked slightly to concentrate less overtly on the value of CBS’s Manhattan location and more on the program in general, though we would argue that in the end, the new prompt is intended to elicit much of the same information as last year’s. As for the third essay, applicants may be glad to learn they do not need to discuss and reimagine a past team failure (who wants to dwell on a defeat, right?), but they will instead need to look inward and reveal their values. Read on for our more detailed analysis of the program’s 2019–2020 questions.

Be sure to join us on Monday, June 10 at 8 p.m. ET for a live “Writing Standout Columbia Business School Essays” webinar, where we will help prospective MBAs learn to ensure their essay will grab the attention of the CBS admissions officer, including examples! Register for free today!

Short Answer Question: What is your immediate post-MBA professional goal? (Maximum 50 Characters)

CBS applicants accustomed to Twitter’s 280-character allowance may find CBS’s 50-character limit here more than a little challenging—especially considering that it includes spaces! To get a sense of how brief your opportunity really is, note that the school’s prompt is itself exactly 50 characters. With such limited space, this can hardly be considered a true essay, but you will need to approach it with the same level of thought and focus you give all your other written responses for CBS. During a Q&A mbaMission conducted with several top admissions officers, Assistant Dean of Admissions Amanda Carlson commented,

That 50 characters really helps people to just break it down very simply for themselves and simply for us . . . . Pursuing business education, it’s a huge investment in time, in money, in effort, in energy, and I think this 50-character exercise is as much for the candidate as it is for our team, and we want to know that people are serious, they’re focused, and they’re ready for this kind of adventure.

So, this prompt is a no-nonsense request for information that is all about getting to the point and telling the admissions committee what it needs to know—that you have a clear and achievable goal. In the past, the school has provided a few sample responses, including “Work in business development for a media company” and “Join a strategy consulting firm,” illustrating that conveying the requested information in such a tight space is definitely doable and that you do not need to worry too much about grammatical issues (in other words, you do not need to start your statement with “I want to” or something similar). We like to offer the statement “Reveal true goals, not what you think CBS wants” as both our own example of keeping things concise and our advice on how to approach and fulfill this request.

Think about what you truly want to do with your career in the short term and state this aspiration directly. Keep in mind that the rest of your application will need to provide evidence that your stated goal aligns with your existing skills and profound interests, especially once they have been augmented by an MBA education. This will show that your professed goal is achievable and lend credibility to your statement. If you can do this in 50 characters (not words!), you will have done what you need to answer the school’s question quite well.

Essay #1: Through your resume and recommendations, we have a clear sense of your professional path to date. What are your career goals over the next 3-5 years and what, in your imagination, would be your long-term dream job? (500 words)

CBS starts this essay question by more or less telling you not to recap your career to date, so we strongly recommend that you do so (and briefly, at that) only if context is absolutely needed for your stated goals to be understood and/or believable—perhaps if you are making a fairly remarkable career change. Pay particular attention to the phrases “dream job” and “in your imagination” with respect to the long-term portion of the question. The school is prompting you to be creative and perhaps even to challenge or push yourself to think big. CBS wants individuals who do not just follow prescribed paths according to someone else’s blueprint but who are aspirational and more inclined to forge their own way. This is not to suggest that if you have a more traditional plan in mind that you are in trouble or at risk of losing the admissions committee’s attention, but you may need to take a little extra time to consider your ambitions from the perspective of “what if?” and delve more deeply into what you hope to achieve to find the more personal and inspiring elements of your goals. Showing creativity and individualism here can only be helpful.

Although this is not a request for a textbook personal statement essay, your response will certainly involve some elements of the topics covered in such a submission, such as short- and long-term goals. The mbaMission Personal Statement Guide offers advice on brainstorming and crafting such essays along with multiple illustrative examples and so may be helpful in preparing your CBS response to this prompt. You can download your free copy here.

CBS does not explicitly ask how it will factor into the achievement of your professional goals, but if you feel that particular resources the school offers could or will be uniquely influential and advantageous to you as you advance along your path, we believe you have sufficient room and leeway to mention these. However, generic claims or empty pandering have no place at all in this rather compact essay. Any CBS resources you reference must be specific to your needs, and the cause-and-effect relationship between these resources and your anticipated success must be very clear. For example, an applicant might discuss the appeal and instrumentality of CBS’s Value Investing Program and 5x5x5 Student Portfolio Fund in their aspirations to one day break into the asset management world or later launch a hedge fund. We do not recommend going so far as to dedicate an entire paragraph to discussing school resources, but you might consider thoughtfully embedding a relevant reference or two into your submission to acknowledge the program’s role in achieving your stated career intentions. Or should we say dreams?

Essay #2:  Why do you feel Columbia Business School is a good fit for you? (250 Words)

Previously, CBS’s second essay concerned the school’s New York City location and the benefits that conferred, but the admissions committee has widened the scope of the prompt to encompass everything the program offers, both on campus and elsewhere. To effectively answer this question, you will need to conduct some significant research on CBS, from its resources and community to its extracurriculars and, yes, location. You must create and present a plan of action, showing direct connections between CBS’s offerings and your interests, personality, and needs. This is not the place to simply cheerlead for the school. Be authentic about what draws you to CBS in particular, and create a narrative explaining how you will grow through the opportunities available there and benefit from the overall experience.

The “why our school?” topic is a common element of a typical personal statement, so we (again) encourage you to download a free copy of the mbaMission Personal Statement Guide, which helps applicants write this style of essay for any school. It explains ways of approaching this subject effectively and offers several sample essays as guides. Click here to access your complimentary copy.

And for a thorough exploration of CBS’s academic program, unique offerings, social life, and other key characteristics, the mbaMission Insider’s Guide to Columbia Business School is also available for free.

Essay #3: Who is a leader you admire, and why? (250 Words)

This essay prompt is the one that has changed the most since last year, and with it, the admissions committee has pivoted from what many would consider a “negative” topic (a team failure) to a much more positive one. We see multiple “asks” in this question, and addressing them all (within just 250 words!) will be key in crafting a strong essay response.

First, by asking you to identify someone you admire and explain why you find this person’s character appealing, the school is essentially asking you to communicate your values. The natural assumption is that the person you admire possesses characteristics that you would want to (or do) emulate, which offers a valuable perspective on your personality and priorities. Second, note that the question asks about a leader you admire, not just a person. We imagine that this is in part to reveal your understanding—or perhaps interpretation—of what a leader is. Leaders are not exclusively people in senior positions or responsible for large groups. Leadership is also not indicated strictly by title. So do not feel that you must select a person who would universally and obviously be considered a “leader.” While we do not recommend that you choose someone simply because they are a “good” person you like, keep in mind that you can include individuals who “lead” others in smaller, less conspicuous ways, such as a mentor, teacher, or community organizer. The committee wants to know that you are experienced and knowledgeable enough to recognize leadership qualities when you encounter them and that you view these qualities as positive—worthy of recognition and adoption. As with all application essays, sincerity is key, so give this choice the appropriate level of consideration and select someone who truly does resonate with you.

Be careful not to dedicate too much of your essay to discussing only the person you have chosen. You will of course need to convey enough about the individual to answer the basic question, but work to really infuse your essay with you. In other words, rather than going on at length (which this essay’s word limit does not allow, anyway) about your chosen leader in detail, use this information a backdrop of sorts and make sure that what stands out most starkly are the qualities that resonate with and inspire you and why these specific qualities matter so much to you.

Optional Essay: Is there any further information that you wish to provide the Admissions Committee? If so, use this space to provide an explanation of any areas of concern in your academic record or your personal history. This does not need to be a formal essay. You may submit bullet points. (Maximum 500 Words)

This optional essay question starts out sounding like an open invitation to discuss almost anything you feel like sharing with the admissions committee, but the second line dials things in and puts the spotlight on addressing problem areas specifically. The additional directive about bullet points seems to be a not-too-veiled implication that the school wants you to focus on imparting key information rather than offering a detailed and long-winded explanation of the issue in question. Without a doubt, this is not an opportunity to share another cool story or otherwise try to impress or pander to the admissions committee. If you do not truly need to explain an issue or potentially confusing element of your candidacy (a poor grade or overall GPA, a low GMAT score, a gap in your work experience, etc.), we do not recommend that you submit an option essay; if you do have issues to clarify, keep things concise. In our mbaMission Optional Essays Guide, we offer detailed advice on when and how to take advantage of the optional essay, with multiple examples, to help you mitigate any problem areas in your profile.

The Next Step—Mastering Your CBS Interview: Many MBA candidates find admissions interviews stressful and intimidating, but mastering this important element of the application process is definitely possible—the key is informed preparation. And, on your way to this high level of preparation, we offer our free Interview Primers to spur you along! Download your free copy of the Columbia Business School Interview Primer today.
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Re: Expert advice for CBS from Admissions Consultant blogs   [#permalink] 03 Jun 2019, 16:21

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